ECS has been quite a strong proponent of ATI chipsets to date with a full range of motherboards for both AMD and Intel based on ATI's Radeon Xpress 200 family. We've reviewed some of ECS' Radeon Xpress 200 offerings in the past and found a great AMD implementation in the RX480-A, which was also a surprising overclocker. ECS didn't fare too well with their Intel version though, as we plodded along with a rather lackluster RS400-A based on the Radeon Xpress 200 (Intel) IGP. Thus, when presented with a choice to review ECS' Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition (RD480) motherboards, we decided to have a look at the KA1 MVP first.
The KA1 MVP is based on the AMD version of the RD480 and will work with all current AMD Socket 939 processors, including the Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon FX. Unlike the aforementioned mainstream ATI motherboards though, the KA1 MVP is the first Radeon Xpress 200 series board to be packaged under ECS' Extreme branding, marking it as a performance oriented board instead. If you liked what ECS delivered with the RX480-A, but wished it was more fully featured, the KA1 MVP might just be that board. Not to mention its dual graphics and CrossFire capabilities will appeal to gamers and enthusiasts alike.
The KA1 MVP comes with a very comprehensive packaging, which has become a standard trait for ECS' Extreme line. To date, ECS is also the only manufacturer we know that provides an RJ45 cable and a front panel bracket converter in their regular package. Just note that there isn't a RAID driver diskette in the box, so you'll have to make your own if you intend to install Windows on a RAID array.